UFC 137 Stupid Predictions™ Postmortem: I Told You So

Posted: October 30, 2011 in Journalism, MMA
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is all going to my head. I stand by my belief that picking is stupid (though fun), and as you’ll see, that will bear itself out in my discussion below. Still, it says something that over 126 fights predicted, I’m 42-22 (66%) in main cards, and 80-46 (63%) overall with only three no-picks. It says that my knowledge of the sport is validated and shown to be head-and-shoulders above that of the people paid to know about these things. Most of them aren’t even willing to put their records on the line for undercard fights, and I still consistently beat them.

Jacoby v. Starks

Why do I refuse to pick fights like this? Because you have two unknowns who’ve fought only unknowns in unknown local shows. Who knows how good these guys really are? This could be evenly matched, or it could be one-sided, and if you’re picking this fight, you’re most likely doing no better than flipping a coin. That’s not picking fights. That’s guessing. Anyone can do that. In this case, just as the last fight I refused to pick, it was one-sided, and there’s no way any of us could have known that, perhaps including the fighter’s own camps.

Why do you read these posts? Why do you listen to Fight Fans Radio? Anyone can flip a coin to pick a fight. Only someone with knowledge of the industry and the game can make the right pick (barring uncontrollable “stupid” factors). If you want picks made on random chance, do it yourself. You’re just as good at flipping coins as I am. If, one the other hand, you want to understand how and why fighters win and lose fights, keep reading and listening. That’s what I do.

Record: 0-0

Carmont v. Carmozzi

I picked Carmont because he consistently finishes fights, meaning he’s much better than the other minor leaguers he’s fought. However, he’s in the big leagues now, and he couldn’t finish. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares against fighters that will still be in the UFC after this card. (Carmozzi won’t be among that group.)

Record: 1-0

Nijem v. Downes

This happened constantly

I gave Nijem a little too much credit for his submission ability. He has great positioning, but he can’t finish because the development of his technique was incomplete. He should have had the 1st-round submission I predicted I almost told you so. He should have had a few others as well. Still, a win’s a win. The scores were the real story though. 30-25, 30-26, 30-27? One judge scored two 10-8 rounds, and another score a round 10-8. That might be a bit much, though “dominated” doesn’t necessarily mean “hurt,” so it’s not completely ridiculous. I’ll probably complain on Monday’s Fight Fans Radio show anyway.

Record: 2-0

Vera vs. Marshall

Rounds 1 and 2 in a single image

This was pretty much what I expected (I told you so), although Marshall had a better-than-expected third round. It wasn’t enough to save his place on the roster. The crowd booed the results, but it was the right decision. Much like Rampage v. Machida, rounds 1 and 2 were uneventful but scored properly for Vera, whereas round 3 was clearly for Marshall, though not deserving of a 10-8. The result: The only guy that did real damage lost the fight, but anyone that complains is being unfair in their criticism. If you (as a fighter) don’t like it, learn to finish fights.

Record: 3-0

Palaszewski vs. Griffin

I told you so. Granted, I thought Griffin was good enough to last until part way through the second round, but I still told you so. “Bartimus” is a finisher.

Record: 4-0

Siver vs. Cerrone

I was right in my pick, though I didn’t expect Siver to get completely dominated in the striking game. Make no mistake about it; he was. Cerrone is a better striker, and with no ground game on which to rely, Siver stood no chance. In fact, Siver didn’t even attempt to get out of the choke. Based on that, I doubt he has any idea how to approach a choke defense. He looked like an amateur.

Record: 5-0

Hatsu Hioki vs. George Roop

My first loss of the night, and I call shenanigans. Roop won rounds 1 and 3. In round 1, he was the more effective striker (where most of the round was fought, making that criterion #1), determined where the fight was fought (Octagon control), and was most effectively aggressive. In round 3, Roop had the takedowns, he was effectively aggressive, he determined where the fight was fought (Octagon control), and he was more effective as both a striker and a grappler. He didn’t lose a single category. Those that picked Hioki should take their win and hide under their beds. Don’t even think about throwing this in my face or accusing me of sour grapes. This fight unfolded exactly as I predicted: George Roop earned a decision. I told you so.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is another reason predictions are stupid: Judges are sometimes stupid. (Does it help my argument that Cecil Peoples is reported to have scored the first round for Hioki?)

At least the UFC got what they wanted. This will help the UFC with the Japanese market.

Record: 5-1 under protest

Curran vs. Jorgensen

No surprise here. I picked a decision win for Jorgensen, and that’s what happened. I told you so. This time, though, the judges didn’t screw it up.

Record: 6-1

CroCop escaped this because Nelson wasn't obese

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Roy Nelson

This fight also went exactly as I expected, except that Nelson, despite being completely exhausted, got back into a ground position where CroCop had no answer. The smart pick paid off here, but CroCop definitely had Nelson in some bad places. Overall, CroCop went out in style, though he did seem to give up. He’s definitely ready to move onto the next chapter of his life.

Record: 6-2

Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione

Once it got here, it was "Ballgame, Kongo!"

Once again, I have to say that this fight went exactly as I predicted . . . in the third round. Once Kongo decided to take Mittrione to the ground, he was dominant (I told you so). Rounds 1 and 2 were poorly fought. I actually had the fight 30-29 for Kongo. That’s right; I had a draw in rounds 1 and 2. Neither had more effective striking, neither had any grappling, neither controlled the Octagon because both wanted a stand-up battle, and neither was effectively aggressive. I’ll be interested to see the Compustrike numbers on rounds 1 and 2. My impression was that they were relatively even, but that no one did more damage than the other regardless of the numbers. According to Mike Chiappetta, the judges apparently didn’t agree, scoring the fight 30-27, 30-28, 29-28. Only one round was scored a draw, but by only one judge.

In any case, fighters, please stop trying to prove something. Do what it takes to win, not what it takes to feed your egos. Don’t strike with a striker to prove you’re man enough to do so. Don’t take down a grappler to prove you’re man enough to do so. Although you don’t have to be a nerd like me, the brain remains a warrior’s greatest weapon. Use yours. Fight smart. Win fights.

Record: 7-2

B.J. Penn vs. Nick Diaz

The first round was sluggish for Diaz, but we’ve seen that before with him. As soon as the second round started, it was clear that Diaz had decided to step it up, and Penn was heading towards his typical late-round welterweight meltdown.  At one point in the second round, Joe Rogan said,

If BJ slows down just a little . . . Diaz smells blood.

I wish this entire fight had been spent on the ground. Wouldn't that have been something?

Just a second before he said that, I had said to myself that I knew Diaz would win this fight because BJ was losing steam. Sure enough, exactly as I predicted (I know, it’s tiring to hear me say that yet again), BJ gassed out. Round 3 has never been Penn territory unless he’s fighting someone else who can’t handle later rounds (we’re all looking at you, Kenny Florian). Fighting a guy that was originally training for a five-round fight doesn’t help. A hard-to-dispute 29-28 decision for Diaz was inevitable, though Penn dug deep and deserved some respect for how he fought through exhaustion in the third round, even getting the better of Diaz for a brief minute or so. I almost told you so.

Record: 8-2

I Told You So

So, my percentage this time around was 8-2 (80%) overall, with a perfect 5-0 (100%) in the preliminary fights, and a mediocre 3-2 (60%) in the main card. If the judges had any sense at all, I’d have been 9-1 and 4-1 in the main card, with only an emotional pick going wrong. This is the last you’ll hear me complain about that, though. I’m sure you all know not to listen to the talking heads on fight predictions. Listen to me. I know what I’m saying, and my public, transparent pick record proves that. As I said above, I’m 42-22 (66%) in main cards, and 80-46 (63%) overall with only three no-picks. Maybe EPSN should hire me to replace Jon Anik on MMA Live. (I promise to work on my interviewing skills.)

Postscript

Dana White announced that Carlos Condit has agreed to step aside, allowing George St. Pierre to fight Nick Diaz next (though this is disputed). This may be more marketable of a fight, but the UFC owes Condit for this. They owe him a lot. Of course, he’s probably happy anyway.

Make sure to listen to Fight Fans Radio Monday through Thursday at 3pm for MMA news and analysis. Also listen in on Saturdays at 3pm before fight cards for my live Stupid Predictions™ segment.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow Fight Fans Radio on Twitter @fightfansradio
Follow Erika Lewis on Twitter @FightFan_Erika
Follow the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Twitter @UFC
Follow Jon Anik on Twitter @Jon_Anik
Follow B.J. Penn on Twitter @bjpenndotcom
Follow Nick Diaz on Twitter @DiazBrothers209
Follow Cheick Kongo on Twitter @iamcheickkongo
Follow Matt Mitrione on Twitter @mattmitrione
Follow Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic on Twitter if you can find his Twitter account. I couldn’t.
Follow Roy Nelson on Twitter @roynelsonmma
Follow Hatsu Hioki on Twitter if you can find his Twitter account. I couldn’t.
Follow George Roop on Twitter @GeorgeRoop
Follow Jeff Curran on Twitter @BigFrogBJJ 
Follow Scott Jorgensen on Twitter @Scottjorgensen
Follow Dennis Siver on Twitter @DennisSiver
Follow Donald Cerrone on Twitter @donaldcerrone
Follow Bart Palaszewski on Twitter @Bartimus7
Follow Tyson Griffin on Twitter @TysonGriffin
Follow Brandon Vera on Twitter @Verafied
Follow Eliot Marshall on Twitter @FireMarshall205
Follow Daniel Downes on Twitter @dannyboydownes
Follow Ramsey Nijem on Twitter @RamseyNijem
Follow Francis Carmont on Twitter @franciscarmont
Follow Chris Camozzi on Twitter @ChrisCamozzi
Follow Dustin Jacoby on Twitter @dustinjacobyDJ
Follow Clifford Starks on Twitter @cliffordstarks1 (which has apparently replaced his @Cliff_Starks account)

Comments
  1. […] I’m still quite bitter that Roop lost to Hioki, ruining what would otherwise have been a perfect night of picks for me*. […]

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